Cooking for Show: The Easiest Fruit Tarts

by Anne Maxfield on July 24, 2014

Accidental Locavore Peach and Apricot TartsMen…! Close to the last minute, the Accidental Locavore’s husband said we were expected to bring dessert for thirty-six to a Saturday party. I can generally whip up respectable desserts for dinner guests, but in no way do desserts count as one of my strengths as a cook. So, what to make? Cookies – too ordinary. Peach cobbler? Good, but it had to travel and wouldn’t be warm when we got there, losing some, if not most, of its appeal.

Accidental Locavore Tart AssemblyBon Appetite had a recipe for a plum tart made with puff pastry that looked easy enough to do at the last minute (without crashing and burning), and there were three packages of puff pastry in the freezer from an earlier consulting gig – two regular and one chocolate. The chocolate one would get either raspberries or cherries and the others would get peaches and apricots. Here’s the basic recipe, which makes 8 tarts:

  • 1 14 oz. package puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 pound fruit
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 425°. Peel the fruit and slice into 1/2″ slices. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the puff pastry into 4″ squares and prick all over with a fork. Place the fruit on the pastry and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. Serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Chocolate Cherry TartsMy verdict: Definitely keeping puff pastry on hand. This was super easy and the hit of the party! I made three different combinations. Chocolate puff pastry with cherries, pitted and sliced in half with regular sugar. Regular puff pastry with peaches or apricots and light brown sugar. I peeled the apricots and peaches (cut a shallow x in the bottom of them and drop in a pot of simmering water for 30 seconds for easy peeling), but you probably don’t need to. My favorite (and Frank’s) was the apricot and we thought it was better looking than the cherry. I thought of making some caramel and chocolate sauce and drizzling it on top, but the summer fruit was great and didn’t need it (keep it simple, stupid). What combination would you come up with?



{ 1 comment }

Dannon “Cow to Cup” Creamy Yogurt

by Anne Maxfield on March 3, 2014

Accidental Locavore Dannon YogurtRecently a huge box full of yogurt was dropped off on my doorstep, giving the Accidental Locavore the chance to taste Dannon Creamy Yogurt, a new product. What makes this yogurt unique is that Dannon sources all the milk from a single dairy, the family owned-and-operated McCarty Farms in Colby, Kansas, in a program they call Cow to Cup (cute, right?). And if (like me) you weren’t sure, you’ll be pleased to know that all milk used in Dannon products is hormone-free.

My preference usually is for plain, which lets me add my own flavors – usually blueberries and some homemade granola, but transitioning to peaches and a rainbow of fresh berries in the summer. I like the tang of plain yogurt and generally make my own, but on occasion flavored yogurt is a nice change. The new Creamy Yogurt comes in multi-packs of 18 with six each of blueberry, peach and strawberry.

How does it taste? The peach has a slightly sweet, not overwhelming, peach taste. Creamy and smooth, it’s almost like a yogurt pudding. The color is interesting – kind of a throwback to the 50s and 60s sherbet colors. I like the fact that this is a blended yogurt, so no mixing or lumps of yogurt and fruit.

Accidental Locavore Peach YogurtMy husband, who only occasionally eats yogurt, sat right down with a blueberry one. “Creamy” was his verdict. Like the peach, the blueberry flavor isn’t strong but it has good blueberry flavor – fresh and not overly sweet. Of the three it would be the one I would gravitate to first, but by a narrow margin over the peach.

Strawberry is usually low on my list.  As much as I love fresh strawberries, they are like bananas or coffee – all something I prefer to eat in their natural state. The strawberry yogurt was the most artificial tasting of the three and I might not have immediately recognized it as strawberry in a blind tasting (although, since it was being consumed at 4:00 in the morning, it could easily be considered a blind tasting).

My friend (not being a peach fan) took home some of the strawberry and blueberry yogurt. She really enjoyed both of them, “the flavors were light and not overpowering” and liked the how creamy they were. After feeding some to her granddaughter, this was the reaction: “Baby Eila loved it as well. She ate half the container, got full and then played with the other half, as she finger painted herself with the yogurt.”

If you want to pick up some of this Dannon Creamy Yogurt, it’s exclusive to Sam’s Clubs nation-wide.



Peach Crisp With a Twist

by Anne Maxfield on August 20, 2012

Since the Accidental Locavore was on a bit of a peach binge lately, it seemed like the perfect time to make this great version of a peach crisp. The twist? Using gingersnaps for the crumble. It adds a nice bit of spice. This is really easy to do (once you’ve peeled the peaches) and will serve 4-6 depending on what’s gone before. This is from Food & Wine.

Peach Crisp With a Twist

Serves 4-6
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Dessert
The Accidental Locavore shares a recipe for peach crisp with a twist, gingersnaps make the topping. Delicious summer dessert recipe.


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 large peaches, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch wedges (for peeling hints, see below)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup gingersnaps, coarsly crushed (put in a Ziploc bag and smash against a counter, or hit with a rolling pin)


Step 1
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a sauté pan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over high heat. Add the peaches and cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 8 minutes. Add ¼ cup of brown sugar and the lemon juice and cook until the peaches are lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a 1 ½ quart baking dish (shallow is better here).
While the peaches are cooking, in a food processor, combine the flour and salt with the remaining butter and brown sugar. Pulse a few times until it looks like coarse cornmeal. Add the gingersnaps and pulse until just combined.
Press the topping into clumps and sprinkle over the peaches. Bake for about 15 minutes until the top is browned and the filling is bubbling. Let cool slightly. Serve with vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

My verdict: This is a great dessert that comes together easily. Feel free to add blueberries or substitute any sort of fruit that will take to baking. I’ve made it a few times, which is high praise from someone who doesn’t really bake…

*There are two ways to peel peaches, one is using a very sharp peeler. The other way is to cut an X in the bottoms of the peaches and drop them in a pot of boiling water for about 30 seconds to a minute. The skins should slip right off (this is the best way to peel tomatoes too).